On Friday, we reported on Minnesota Republican congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn's history of incendiary comments about women, American Indians, gays, people he suspected of being gay, and President Obama's family. Two days later, Hagedorn took to Facebook to issue an apology...of sorts:
Over the years I have written political satire and commentary, most of which defended conservative ideals and took aim at national politicians I felt were failing the American people and hurting our country.
Even though most of my writings were composed more than 10 years ago, national and DFL liberals are determined to attack me personally, mostly by exhibiting snippets of out-dated, misunderstood or out-of-context material and calling me derogatory names.
In this case, the rather worn and tired Democrat tactic of personal destruction and demonization is designed to deflect attention from the serious problems confronting our nation and the failed big government record of President Barack Obama and devoted liberal followers like incumbent DFL Congressman Tim Walz.
Of course, these same politically correct liberals remain undeterred by the offensive writings authored in the past by Al Franken. In spite of this hypocrisy, I do acknowledge that some of my hard-hitting and tongue-in-cheek commentary was less than artfully constructed or included language that could lead to hurt feelings. I offer a sincere and heartfelt apology.
Rather than dwell in the rigged game of political correctness, my campaign will forge ahead and continue to engage with the people of southern Minnesota and address the issues that will decide our country’s future during these critical times.
A better way to avoid the "rigged game of political correctness," would be to not disparage all American Indians as "thankless" welfare recipients. You can read more about Hagedorn's past comments here.
Iowa Republican National Committee member Tamara Scott has a special theory about the flood of child migrants entering the United States: What if they're secretly ninjas?
Republican congressmen have previously argued that the 70,000 youths who will come across the border in 2014 are being brought over to bolster Democratic voter rolls at some point in the distant future, or that they are carrying a deadly disease that does not actually exist in their home countries. Scott, in a Thursday radio segment flagged by Right Wing Watch, sought to outdo them all:
For us just to open our borders it's chaos we don't know orderly who's coming in, who's not. When we see these kids, you and I think young kids, we think maybe 12-year-olds, maybe even…middle-schoolers. But we know back in our revolution, we had 12-year-olds fighting in our revolution. And for many of these kids, depending on where they're coming from, they could be coming from other countries and be highly trained as warriors who will meet up with their group here and actually rise up against us as Americans. We have no idea what's coming through our borders, but I would say biblically it's not a Christian nation when you entice people to do wrong.
Republican congressional candidate Jim Hagedorn could face a major obstacle in his race to unseat Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz: conservative blogger Jim Hagedorn.
Hagedorn, the son of retired congressman Tom Hagedorn, was a surprise victor in last Tuesday's GOP primary. But he brings some serious baggage to his race against Walz, a four-term incumbent. In posts from his old blog, Mr. Conservative, unearthed by the Minnesota politics blog Bluestem Prairie*, Hagedorn made light of American Indians, President Obama's Kenyan ancestry, and female Supreme Court justices, among others, in ways many voters won't appreciate.
Arizona Speaker of the House Andy Tobin is the latest Republican politician to suggest migrants from Central America might bring the Ebola virus with them to the United States. Tobin, who is seeking the GOP nomination for the state's 1st Congressional District in Tuesday's primary, made the connection in an interview published in the Tucson Weekly on Thursday.
Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) started the GOP Ebola fearmongering trend last month when he wrote a letter to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stating that "[r]eports of illegal immigrants carrying deadly diseases such as swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis are particularly concerning." In August, Reps. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) leveled the same charge.
Although allegations of disease-ridden migrants are common throughout history, vaccination rates in Central America are higher than in Texas. And Ebola, which is difficult to contract, is not found in Central America. But Tobin was undeterred.
Per the Weekly:
…Tobin says he's hearing about worries from constituents that the recent wave of undocumented youth from Central America could cause an Ebola outbreak in the United States.
"Anything's now possible," Tobin said last week. "So if you were to say the Ebola virus has now entered (the country), I don't think anyone would be surprised."
Tobin acknowledged that Ebola has been limited to outbreaks in Africa, "to the extent that they're really aware of that. I think there is a reason we should be concerned about it and say, 'Hey, can you assure us the people crossing the border are not from the Middle East?'…So I use that as an example, that the public would not be surprised to hear about the next calamity at the border."
But even if there were lots of people crossing the border from the Middle East, they still wouldn't be bringing Ebola, because Ebola is still confined to sub-Saharan West Africa. Here's a useful map:
Central America is on the left. Google Maps
Fortunately for Tobin, though, the bar for misinformed comments on migrants is high in Arizona's 1st District. State Rep. Adam Kwasman, Tobin's chief rival for the nomination, became a late-night punch line in July when he protested a YMCA camp bus he mistakenly believed was filled with undocumented youths.
In the run-up to this fall's rematch against Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-Ore.), Republican Art Robinson is making an unusual ask.
"My name is Art Robinson," read one of the mailers he sent to 500,000 Oregon residents in March. "I am a scientist who has lived and worked in Josephine County for 34 years. My colleagues and I are developing improved methods for the measurement of human health. Please consider giving us a sample of your urine."
Robinson is a scientist, and that's part of the problem. For the last three decades, when he's not running for office, the Caltech-educated chemist has run a research nonprofit out of a family compound in the mountain town of Cave Junction, near the California border. In a monthly newsletter called Access to Energy, Robinson has used his academic credentials to float theories on everything from AIDS to public schooling to climate change (which he believes is a myth). In perhaps his most famous missive, Robinson once proposed using airplanes to disperse radioactive waste on Oregon homes, in the hopes of building up resistance to degenerative illnesses.
"All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean—or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases," Robinson wrote in 1997. He added, "If we could use it to enhance our own drinking water here in Oregon, where background radiation is low, it would hormetically enhance our resistance to degenerative diseases. Alas, this would be against the law." (Robinson has since clarified that such proposals would be politically untenable.)
In another essay, he called public education "the most widespread and devastating form of child abuse and racism in the United States," leaving people "so mentally handicapped that they cannot be responsible custodians of the energy technology base or other advanced accomplishments of our civilization."
Robinson theorized that the government had overhyped the AIDS epidemic in order to force social engineering experiments on those aforementioned public school students. The truth, he contended, was far more complex:
There is a possibility that the entire 'war' on HIV and AIDS is in error. U.S. government AIDS programs are now receiving $6 billion per year and are based entirely upon the hypothesis that HIV virus causes AIDS. Yet, the articles referenced above and numerous additional publications by scientists who have become involved in this controversy state that: attempts to cause AIDS experimentally with HIV have completely failed; thousands of AIDS victims are HIV-free; and HIV shows none of the classical characteristics of a disease-producing organism. Moreover, AIDS is not a unique disease—it is an increased susceptibility to many ordinary diseases presumably as a result of depressed immune response. This depressed immunity can result from many other factors including those especially prevalent in the AIDS afflicted population—drug abuse and unhygienic exposure to very large numbers of different disease vectors. Moreover, large numbers of HIV carriers who are symptom-free are being treated by powerful life-threatening drugs that kill people in ways very similar to AIDS.
Those writings have become an albatross in his repeated challenges to DeFazio, who has publicized Robinson's work. Robinson lost by 10 points in 2010, and then by 20 two years later in a district that had become more Democratic after redistricting. Last year, he entered the GOP primary yet again (on a whim one day while driving past the clerk's office), and won the nomination by default in May when no other candidates materialized. Adding to the uphill odds is the fact that Robinson now has a second job: Since last August, he's served as the chair of the Oregon Republican Party.
As for the urine samples, Robinson told the Roseburg (Ore.) News-Review he received 1,000 in response, which will go toward a study on aging. His campaign might not be worth a bucket of warm piss. But at least he'll have plenty of it to fall back on.